GMP Women in Tech: Own Your Truth Event

by Tara Landry

Yesterday,  I attended the GMP’s 13th Women in Tech (#RealTalk) “Own Your Truth event to promote women empowerment & diversity across the industry. It  focused on how the power of storytelling helps you hone your authentic voice while driving deeper connections with those around you. 

I didn’t really know what to expect going into this, the registration form had a space where we could share our story – I left it blank. This was my first time attending and I wasn’t sure which, or what version of my story they were looking for, and to be honest because it was optional and I was busy, I didn’t take the time to even think about what was being asked. 

I expected it to be interesting, informative and include good speakers – I’ve been to other Google events and these things are all par for the course. I picked out some work I could do while listening – with virtual events we’re all multi-taskers, right? And I didn’t even consider changing out of my Ripcordz hoodie for something a little more business appropriate because it never occurred to me I would have my camera on. 

It’s fair to say my expectations were nowhere near reality. 

Right from the beginning, with  Shannon Stark’s, (Managing Director, Google Marketing Platform) welcome address  this was a fantastic experience. Not only did she introduce the speaker, she set the tone for the entire event and I was fully engaged from the moment she started speaking. 

Next up was Guest Speaker Jessi Shuraleff, Founder and Host of This Is My Truth podcast & community, and former Googler. Her presentation took us through identifying moments that shaped us (you know those moments in your life you can’t get out of your head?),  then breaking them down by answering a series of questions to really explore all aspects of the moment, and finally, using that detail to create a story to better identify and understand the emotions during and before the moments.  Showcasing equal parts strength and vulnerability she used examples of her own moments  to demonstrate the exercise.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        

After taking some time to identify and go through the exercise using our own moment, we broke into smaller groups where we took turns being the storyteller and the active listener.

It was a very powerful experience. I was surprised by the emotion,  how deeply this group of relative strangers (including myself) became invested in the exercise, and how much we all took away from the experience. 

Kudos to Google for building and offering these types of events to their employees and partners. I didn’t learn any more than I already knew about Google products, but I certainly learned a lot more about how the company works, what they see as important, and the lengths they go to put their ideals into practice. I was impressed and will certainly be attending more of these events in the future.  

Tara Landry

Marketing Manager

With more than 20 years of experience as a marketing communications professional, Tara has in-depth campaign experience from conception to analysis and is passionate about content, translating marketing ideas across all organizational levels, and punk rock.

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